Scientology has been a lot of things to a lot of people, some claiming it did them a lot of good while others, not so much. One thing for sure is that Scientology is much more than simply some books that L. Ron Hubbard wrote or a New Age mix of feel good literature and plagiarized psychotherapy. Over the years since L. Ron Hubbard first unleashed Dianetics upon the world in 1950, he gathered a small but intensely loyal core of followers and created a sort of alternate reality, a bubble world of belief in both him and his outlandish mythology.
At first that mythology consisted simply of promising to make people think better and faster and to achieve a state he called Clear, unimpeded by the stresses and trauma of past times. But before long, Hubbard claimed that we were all actually immortal spiritual beings called thetans who were trapped in an endless cycle of life and death and that Scientology was the only answer out of that trap. Scientologists believed him and felt that the subjective experiences they had in Scientology’s therapy, called auditing, lent proof to his claims. If they could remember even one event from a past life, no matter how far fetched or unproven or unlikely that event might be, they convinced themselves that Hubbard was on to something amazing and they would then believe almost everything he had to say.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Hubbard claimed he had continued research into our spiritual history in this physical universe. He declared that we have all lived for trillions upon trillions of years, taking part in intergalactic civilizations and space opera long before we were trapped here on Earth in our current sad state. He said that there were new levels of awareness and ability far above the state of Clear. Called Operating Thetan or OT levels, these were kept strictly confidential and the information in them only parsed out to those who had dedicated the necessary time and money to earn them. Hubbard described them in lofty terms that promise personal spiritual immortality and a state of total cause over matter, energy, space and time.
What holds people in such a world and why would they continue deluding themselves when common sense clearly shows that Scientology’s beliefs are nonsensical and its results are at best, a temporary pyschological bandaid? Not one person has ever been able to live up to the claims Hubbard makes about Clears and OTs, not even Hubbard himself. He died alone, hiding from the law and rambling about how spiritual entites had taken over his body.
The bubble world of Scientology is not just about self improvement. It’s a whole culture, created by the rules and agreements that anyone who calls themselves a Scientologist has to enter into before they will be part of the group. Like almost any destructive cult, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of unwritten rules and guidelines that have to be followed lest someone be thought of as disloyal or disaffected. And as time marched forward and Scientologists started having children and raising them with Scientology’s values favored over what they call “wog” or non-Scientology ideas, whole new generations were convinced from birth that Scientology was the only truth that mattered.
Unfortunately, there are many children out there who have grown up disadvantaged because of their Scientology upbringing. Many of them suffered outright abuse at the hands of their parents, trying to be good Scientologists like they thought their parents wanted them to be, but somehow never measuring up. They had never chosen to be Scientologists in the first place, and most of them didn’t understand what it was all about and didn’t really want to be part of it. Because Scientology is such a dominating force in people’s lives, the parents of these children may have loved them dearly but they obeyed Scientology’s dictates over common sense and this sometimes even led to them abusing their children or even disconnecting and abandoning them altogether.
In this series, we’re going to hear the story of just one of these children, now grown and coming out on video for the first time. Her name is Larisa Smith and she was raised in a Scientology household from the time she was only six months old. If you’ve watched my channel, you know her parents – Tim and Sylvia DeWall – who story was told in a multi-part interview. They are now all completely out of the Church of Scientology and have no plans to ever return.
Whereas in those interviews we concentrated on Tim’s personal experiences, here we are going to hear from both Tim and Sylvia about what trials and difficulties they had in raising Larisa and their other two sons in a Scientology household and why this eventually contributed to them all leaving Scientology far behind them forever.